Meet our Staff 

Innovation Academy University College

Meet the innovation experts of UCD Innovation Academy, including leading academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.

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    Meet our Team 

    Meet the innovation experts of The Innovation Academy UCD, including leading academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.


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    Professor Suzi Jarvis
    Founding Director

    Professor Suzi Jarvis has been at the forefront of research, innovation and education in Ireland and abroad. She is the founding Director of the Innovation Academy at University College Dublin and Chair of Biophysics with a multidisciplinary research team based in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

    See more of Suzi’s story here.

    suzi.jarvis@ucd.ie

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    Colman Farrell
    Head of Programme Development

    Colman Farrell co-founded the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and Suas, the educational charity. He was Vice Chair of Dóchas (the association of Irish NGOs).From 2004 to 2012 he was CEO of Suas. Previously he was Development Manager at Enterprise Ireland, before which he a software development manager leading a team at General Electric Global exchange Services.

    See more of Colman’s story here.

    colman.farrell@ucd.ie 



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    Raomal Perera
    Sector Expert

    Raomal Perera is a veteran of multiple entrepreneurial ventures and an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD where he currently teaches and studies entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies. He was one of 40 entrepreneurs worldwide chosen to the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) as a technology pioneer.

    See more of Raomal’s story here.

    raomal.perera@ucd.ie


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    Alistair Fee
    Sector Expert

    Alistair Fee is a European Specialist in Design Thinking and Innovation. He has experimented in many aspects of creativity and innovation in organisations of all sizes in over 60 countries. A former Faculty Fellow at Stanford University and a Business Partner at Yale Entrepreneurial Institute he adds value to companies, teams and individuals with international and regional, insights and perspectives.

    See more of Alistair’s story here.



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    David Price
    Sector Expert

    David Price is a senior associate at the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit enterprise committed to solving social challenges around the world. For the past 10 years, Price has led numerous international education projects, culminating in the writing of his acclaimed book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future. In June 2008, he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to education.

    See more of David’s story here.



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    Fiona Ross
    Sector Expert

    Fiona is an exceptionally experienced public and private sector Chair and Non-executive Director, having served on 17 Boards in Ireland and the UK over the past six years. She focuses her board, consulting and lecturing roles on governance, ethics, and digital transformation. Fiona began her career as a stockbroker in the City of London and spent 25 years working in Dublin, London, Eastern Europe and the United States.

    See more of Fiona’s story here.




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    Deirbhle Carroll

    Senior Programme Manager

    Deirbhle has over 13 years’ experience in educational development and management. She first joined UCD in 2005 and was Graduate School Manager in the UCD College of Science working on programme and policy development and advancing student supports within the University before joining the Innovation Academy team. Deirbhle is a graduate of UCD with a BA in History and a BBS in Business Management.

    See more of Deirbhle’s story here.

    deirbhle.carroll@ucd.ie


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    Meg Fenton
    Finance and Office Manager

    Meg joins the Innovation Academy as, ‘Finance and Office Manager’. After qualifying as an Accountant, she worked as a Management Consultant with Ernst & Young Cap Gemini and gained industry experience with global clients within the Financial Services sector. Meg completed a company sponsored MBA at Henley Management College which included a field trip to Beijing and a learning exchange with students from Beijing university.

    Prior to joining the IA, Meg worked as an Office Manager in an IT consultancy company which she co-founded. Meg recently completed the Postgraduate Certificate in innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise here at the Innovation Academy.

    mailto:meg.fenton@ucd.ie

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    David Nevin
    Business Development Manager

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy David worked in business development and events management roles with several education and health focused non-profit organisations Ireland, India and Australia enabling these organisations to raise €2.3m from corporate, public and private philanthropy.

    See more of David’s story here.

    david.nevin@ucd.ie


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    Mary Saunders
    Marketing and Programmes Executive

    Before joining the Innovation Academy, Mary gained over 14 years’ experience working in one of the largest communications companies in Ireland on a broad range of clients.

    See more of Mary’s story here.

    mary.saunders@ucdconnect.ie


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    Eina McHugh
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eina McHugh is an entrepreneurial specialist, consultant in creativity, Irish Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her senior leadership experience has been gained over twenty-five years of work, both nationally and internationally, across the public, private and charitable sectors. See more of Eina’s story here.

    mailto:eina.mchugh@ucd.ie

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    Maurice Knightly
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    He is currently a director of several companies ranging from food and catering to new media. From 1992 to 2009 he was deputy managing director of the O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars franchise, responsible for operations, training, marketing and purchasing. He worked to grow the chain to 282 outlets in 10 countries and developed the brand’s initial presence in each new market.

    See more of Maurice’s story here.

    maurice.knightly@ucd.ie

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    Fergal Brophy
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Fergal is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in the corporate sector. He co-founded Open Financial Services in 2000 and sold it in 2014. He has held sales and marketing roles with Pepsi, Nivea and Kellogg’s. Fergal has led innovation training programmes for ESB, Enterprise Ireland, Deloitte, Irish Stock Exchange and facilitated Hackathons for US Embassy, SciComm and New Ireland.

    See more of Fergal’s story here.

    fergal.brophy@ucd.ie

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    Dr Eileen Diskin
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eileen started her career as a wilderness guide in the Alaskan wilderness, and became a conservation naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation before working as a field archaeologist. Eileen founded BiodiversityInOurLives.com, an initiative whose pilot project was a set of biodiversity beermats that featured in pubs across Dublin.

    See more of Eileen’s story here.

    eileen.diskin@ucd.ie

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    Jacinta Owens
    Teaching Facilitator

    Jacinta Owens is an enthusiastic, talented writer with a distinctive voice and a wonderful turn of phrase. Her style is naturally comic and observant. One of the most striking aspects of her work is her personal association with the material. She writes close to home, and from her heart, which means every beat is utterly truthful. Jacinta focuses on developing empathy and creativity in students whilst helping them craft their own unique story.

    jacinta.owens@ucd.ie



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    Professor Suzi Jarvis
    Founding Director

    Professor Suzi Jarvis has been at the forefront of research, innovation and education in Ireland and abroad. She is the founding Director of the Innovation Academy at University College Dublin and Chair of Biophysics with a multidisciplinary research team based in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

    See more of Suzi’s story here.

    suzi.jarvis@ucd.ie

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    Colman Farrell
    Head of Programme Development

    Colman Farrell co-founded the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and Suas, the educational charity. He was Vice Chair of Dóchas (the association of Irish NGOs).From 2004 to 2012 he was CEO of Suas. Previously he was Development Manager at Enterprise Ireland, before which he a software development manager leading a team at General Electric Global exchange Services.

    See more of Colman’s story here.

    colman.farrell@ucd.ie 



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    Raomal Perera
    Industry Expert

    Raomal Perera is a veteran of multiple entrepreneurial ventures and an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD where he currently teaches and studies entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies. He was one of 40 entrepreneurs worldwide chosen to the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) as a technology pioneer.

    See more of Raomal’s story here.

    raomal.perera@ucd.ie


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    Deirbhle Carroll

    Senior Programme Manager

    Deirbhle has over 13 years’ experience in educational development and management. She first joined UCD in 2005 and was Graduate School Manager in the UCD College of Science working on programme and policy development and advancing student supports within the University before joining the Innovation Academy team. Deirbhle is a graduate of UCD with a BA in History and a BBS in Business Management.

    See more of Deirbhle’s story here.

    deirbhle.carroll@ucd.ie 



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    David Price
    Industry Expert

    David Price is a senior associate at the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit enterprise committed to solving social challenges around the world. For the past 10 years, Price has led numerous international education projects, culminating in the writing of his acclaimed book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future. In June 2008, he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to education.

    See more of David’s story here.



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    Brendan Allen
    Industry Expert

    Brendan is an entrepreneur, farmer, and marine scientist. He and his brother established Castlemine Farm, a small luxury foods business. Castlemine Farm has won the Food Writers’ Guild and Bridgestone awards and recently opened a new production plant to deliver luxury cooked goods. Previously, he was the senior research officer at GMIT Marine and Freshwater Innovation Centre.

    See more of Brendan’s story here.

    brendan.allen@ucd.ie



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    Eina McHugh
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eina McHugh is an entrepreneurial specialist, consultant in creativity, Irish Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her senior leadership experience has been gained over twenty-five years of work, both nationally and internationally, across the public, private and charitable sectors. See more of Eina’s story here.

    mailto:eina.mchugh@ucd.ie

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    David Nevin
    Business Development Manager

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy David worked in business development and events management roles with several education and health focused non-profit organisations Ireland, India and Australia enabling these organisations to raise €2.3m from corporate, public and private philanthropy.

    See more of David’s story here.

    david.nevin@ucd.ie



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    Maurice Knightly
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    He is currently a director of several companies ranging from food and catering to new media. From 1992 to 2009 he was deputy managing director of the O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars franchise, responsible for operations, training, marketing and purchasing. He worked to grow the chain to 282 outlets in 10 countries and developed the brand’s initial presence in each new market.

    See more of Maurice’s story here.

    maurice.knightly@ucd.ie

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    Fergal Brophy
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Fergal co-founded Open Financial Services in 2000. Open is a Worksite Marketing company that provides financial advice to employees of Ireland’s leading multi-nationals including Apple, EMC, Dell, Oracle, Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan, PwC, KPMG, Pfizer, Merck, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

    See more of Fergal’s story here.

    fergal.brophy@ucd.ie



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    Dr Eileen Diskin
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eileen started her career as a wilderness guide in the Alaskan wilderness, and became a conservation naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation before working as a field archaeologist. Eileen founded BiodiversityInOurLives.com, an initiative whose pilot project was a set of biodiversity beermats that featured in pubs across Dublin.

    See more of Eileen’s story here.

    eileen.diskin@ucd.ie

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    Jacinta Owens
    Teaching Facilitator

    Jacinta Owens is an enthusiastic, talented writer with a distinctive voice and a wonderful turn of phrase. Her style is naturally comic and observant. One of the most striking aspects of her work is her personal association with the material. She writes close to home, and from her heart, which means every beat is utterly truthful. Jacinta focuses on developing empathy and creativity in students whilst helping them craft their own unique story.

    jacinta.owens@ucd.ie


    David NevinUCD Innovation Academy Team